What happened to us since the summer? Here are a few highlights.
At the end of September, three of us attended three different event during the same weekend: the ATRI conference in Toronto (Association of Treasurers of Religious Institutes), the Plenary Assembly of the CCCB (Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops) in St Adele, Quebec and a conference to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council called “Vatican II for the Next Generation”, held in St Paul University in Ottawa. In different ways, these events enriched our understanding of the life of the Church in Canada. We all came back very energized by the meetings and what we learned, and renewed in our desire to live out the mission in Canada.
For Thanksgiving, we welcomed two of our friends from Quebec over the weekend. As potential associates of our community, they are currently getting to know better our foundress Claire Monestes and we are amazed and grateful for the bond they discover with her and her spiritual journey. We all enjoyed showing them around Toronto, praying together, sharing our community life and… the Thanksgiving dinner.
At the end of November, on the occasion of the visit of Mireille, one of our general counsellors from France, we met with our sisters from the community of Montreal. The gathering, aimed at reflecting on our mission in Canada, took place in Ottawa. We are very grateful for the hospitality and kindness of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (link) who welcomed us in their convent.
Friends and neighbours joined us for another evening of prayer during the season of Advent. These “open prayers” at our place are simple and powerful. All who participate enjoy singing hymns and psalms, listening together to the Word of God in the Scriptures, interceding for the world. It turns us all into a community of prayer, support and friendship and we are grateful for that.
We had a 3-day retreat between Christmas and the New Year. The theme we had chosen was “God’s revelation to us: Christmas”. Two of us shared a reflection about the theme based on readings or courses they had attended. One talk was about Dei Verbum as presented by Christoph Theobald sj in his book Dans les traces de Vatican II: Dei Verbum. The other talk was about understanding Revelation through the contribution of Bernard Lonergan’s Method in Theology. After very busy weeks during the Fall and at Christmas, it was good to enjoy silence, personal and community prayer, walks in High Park, and relaxing and resting in the Lord.
February 14 is an important date for us. Not just because it is Valentine’s day! This date is one of our community feast days as it marks the anniversary of the death of our foundress Claire Monestes in 1939. Choosing some of her quotes to celebrate this feast in a prayer service led us to appreciate again how the depth and strength of her spiritual insights still appeal to us today. Claire Monestes’ spiritual legacy will be at the core of our upcoming Jubilee year which starts this Summer.
50 years! let’s celebrate! On June 20, 1963 the Church granted our institute of the Xaviere, missionary of Christ Jesus, the official recognition as a religious order. To mark the 50th anniversary of this event in 2013, we are embarking in a Jubilee year of spiritual renewal and celebration.
Stay tuned for updates and pray for us!